MLB Trade Rumors » » Los Angeles Dodgers 2018-01-17T04:13:39Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom Steve Adams <![CDATA[Agent: Yelich’s Relationship With Marlins “Broken”]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112771 2018-01-17T00:58:20Z 2018-01-17T00:55:12Z In the latest dose of Marlins-related drama, agent Joe Longo of Paragon Sports International, who represents Christian Yelich, tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that a trade of his client in the next month would be in the best interest of both team and player.

Longo states that he respects the Marlins’ long-term plan for a return to contention, but states that the “…plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career.” Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins has been “irretrievably broken” and has “soured,” according to Longo, who goes on to speak about the disappointment that Yelich has felt in watching the Marlins’ new ownership group gut the roster in trades that have sent Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna elsewhere.

“The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and [Yelich] needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win,” Longo tells Crasnick. The agent goes on to explain that Yelich signed his seven-year, $49.57MM contract extension with the Marlins in a “completely different climate” — that is, one where the organization looked to be making a clear push to win in the short term. Yelich’s deal (which Longo and Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill discussed at length with MLBTR’s Zach Links back in 2015) was agreed upon in the same offseason that saw the Fish sign Stanton to a record-setting $325MM contract. New ownership, however, clearly has no intent of pushing for a division title in 2017 as payroll has been slashed by roughly $50MM.

Longo’s comments, of course, don’t ensure that a trade of Yelich will transpire before or during Spring Training. Such decisions are up to president of baseball operations Michael Hill and his staff, who needn’t feel pressure to move Yelich in the same manner as they did with regard to Stanton, Gordon and Ozuna. The Marlins’ payroll projection is inching closer to its reported target of roughly $90MM, and Yelich’s $7MM salary for the coming season isn’t especially burdensome. Moreover, the fact that Yelich can be controlled for another five years at a total of $58.25MM is a clear indicator that he’ll be an asset with considerable surplus value at virtually any point the Marlins decide to make him available.

Yelich is hardly the only player that is less than enthused about the notion of suiting up for a Miami club that looks destined for the NL East cellar. Catcher J.T. Realmuto’s agents have reportedly informed the Marlins that their client would prefer to be traded, and infielder Starlin Castro (acquired as a financial component in the trade that sent Stanton to the Yankees) is reportedly hoping to be dealt elsewhere before so much as playing a single game for the Marlins.

Per Crasnick, the Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, D-backs and Phillies are “among” the teams that have reached out to the Marlins to gauge the asking price for Yelich in a trade, though there are assuredly more team that have expressed interest. Toronto GM Ross Atkins recently suggested that virtually every team in the league would have interest in a Yelich trade, and reports have suggested that more than 15 teams have at least kicked the tires on the former Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner.

Yelich, just 26 years of age, is a career .290/.369/.432 hitter. He’s averaged 20 homers and a dozen steals over the past two seasons and has proven to be a capable center fielder or an elite defender in left field. Crasnick notes that Yelich himself may speak publicly in the coming days, and the column is stuffed with additional quotes from Longo. It’s well worth a full read-through, both for those that have been diligently tracking the Marlins’ offseason roller coaster and those who haven’t been monitoring the situation as closely.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: National League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112260 2018-01-13T06:28:47Z 2018-01-12T21:10:22Z The deadline for MLB teams to exchange salary arbitration figures with their arbitration-eligible players is today at 1pm ET. As such, there will be a veritable flood of arb agreements piling up in the next few hours — especially in light of a more universal approach to the “file and trial” method for teams. (That is to say, those teams will no longer negotiate one-year deals after arb figures are exchanged and will instead head to a hearing with those players, barring an agreemenr on a multi-year deal.)

Note that you can keep an eye on all of today’s deals using MLBTR’s 2018 Arbitration Tracker, which can be filtered to show only the results of the team you follow and is also sortable by service time and dollar value of the agreement. All projections that are referenced come from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s annual compilation of projected arbitration salaries.

Onto today’s landslide of deals…

National League West

  • The Rockies have agreed to a $2MM salary with righty Chad Bettis, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). That’s a fair sight more than his $1.5MM projection. Bettis surely would have had an opportunity to set a bigger platform for himself, but had to battle through testicular cancer before returning to the hill in 2017. Meanwhile, second baseman DJ LeMahieu has settled for a $8.5MM payday in his final year of arbitration, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. That’s just a hair short of the $8.8MM he was pegged for in MLBTR’s projections.
  • Giants second baseman Joe Panik is slated to earn $3.45MM in his first season of arb eligibility, Devan Fink of SB Nation was first to tweet. That’s just a hair shy of the $3.5MM that MLBTR projected. Lefty Will Smith has settled at $2.5MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). The club has also announced deals with its remaining arb-eligible players, right-handed relievers Sam Dyson ($4.6MM projection), Hunter Strickland ($1.7MM projection), and Cory Gearrin ($1.6MM projection). (H/t John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter). Strickland earns $1.55MM, Nightengale tweets.
  • The Padres and Freddy Galvis agreed to a $6.825MM deal for his lone season of team control in San Diego, tweets Robert Murray of FanRag Sports. Galvis, who spent the first several seasons of his career in Philadelphia before being traded this winter, had been projected to make $7.4MM. Infielder Cory Spangenberg settled at $1.7MM, Heyman tweets, falling below a $2.0MM projection. San Diego has also reached agreements with righty Kirby Yates and outfielder Matt Szczur, the team announced. Yates will earn $1,062,500, Heyman tweets, which is just shy of his $1.1MM projection. Szczur, meanwhile, will get $950K, a healthy boost over his $800K projection, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
  • The Diamondbacks agreed to a $7.75MM deal with center fielder A.J. Pollock, Murray tweets. Pollock was projected to earn $8.4MM in his final year of eligibility before free agency. Murray also notes that Brad Boxberger is set to earn $1.85MM next year (Twitter link). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds that lefty Andrew Chafin ($1.2MM projection) and the D-backs have a $1.195MM deal in place. Third baseman Jake Lamb, meanwhile, agreed to a $4.275MM deal with the Diamondbacks, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). Lamb, eligible for arbitration for the first time, was projected to earn $4.7MM. He’s controllable through 2020. And ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that Chris Herrmann ($1.4MM projection) landed a $1.3MM deal. Righty Taijuan Walker has settled for $4.825MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter), which is within range but shy of the $5.0MM he projected for. Lefty Robbie Ray has settled at $3.95MM, per Nightengale (Twitter link), which falls short of his $4.2MM projection. Infielder Nick Ahmed will $1.275MM, per Heyman (via Twitter), which tops the projected figure of $1.1MM. Arizona has also announced that Chris Owings and David Peralta have agreed to terms.
  • The Dodgers are in agreement on a $6MM deal with lefty Alex Wood, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). He had projected at $6.4MM. Meanwhile, righty Josh Fields agreed to a $2.2MM deal, tweets Murray. Heyman tweets that Enrique Hernandez will earn $1.6MM. Fields’ projection of $2.2MM was on the money, whereas Hernandez topped his mark by $300K. Fields is controlled through 2019, while Hernandez is controllable through 2020. Southpaw Tony Cingrani gets $2.3MM, Murray tweets, which is just a shade over his $2.2MM projection. Outfielder Joc Pederson has also settled, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter), with Beth Harris of the Associated Press reporting a $2.6MM salary that rather handily tops the $2.0MM that MLBTR projected.

National League Central

  • All three remaining Cardinals arb-eligibles have agreed to deals, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweetsMarcell Ozuna will earn $9MM after drawin a much larger $10.9MM projection, Heyman tweets. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had explained that Ozuna likely wouldn’t quite reach the amount the algorithm suggested, though the actual salary still comes in a bit shy of expectations. Lefty Tyler Lyons ($1.3MM projection) receives $1.2MM, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). The Cards have also reached agreement with Michael Wacha for $5.3MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter); he was projected to earn $5.9MM.
  • The Reds agreed to a $860K salary with Anthony DeSclafani, tweets Murray. DeSclafani missed the 2017 season due to arm troubles and had been projected to earn $1.1MM. He’ll remain under Reds control through 2020. Billy Hamilton and the Reds have settled on a one-year deal worth $4.6MM, tweets Murray. A popular trade candidate this offseason, Hamilton was projected to earn $5MM and comes with another two seasons of team control. Murray also conveys that Michael Lorenzen agreed to a $1.3125MM deal, which lines up fairly well with his $1.4MM projection.
  • The Cubs have struck a deal with lefty Justin Wilson, agreeing to a one-year, $4.25MM pact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link). Wilson, who had been projected at $4.3MM, will be a free agent next winter. The Cubs alsoagreed to a $950K salary with infielder Tommy La Stella, tweets MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. La Stella was projected to make $1MM in his first offseason of arbitration eligiblity and can be controlled through 2020. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs have agreed to a $4.175MM salary, per Nightengale (on Twitter). That sum comes in a fair bit shy of his projected $4.9MM projection as a first-time eligible player. The Cubs control Hendricks through the 2020 season. Chicago also agreed with Addison Russell, per Wittenmyer (Twitter link). The shortstop will receive $3.2MM for the coming season.
  • Nightengale reports (on Twitter) that the Brewers and breakout closer Corey Knebel settled at $3.65MM. As a Super Two player, Knebel can be controlled through the 2021 season and will be arb-eligible thrice more. He was projected at $4.1MM. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers and right-hander Jimmy Nelson settled at $3.7MM, which falls $1MM shy of his $4.7MM projection (though some of that discrepancy may be due to Nelson’s shoulder injury). Milwaukee also announced a deal for infielders Jonathan Villar (projected at $3MM) and Hernan Perez (projected at $2.2MM). McCalvy reports that Villar will earn $2.55MM, while terms of Perez’s deal are not yet available.
  • The Pirates have avoided arbitration with shortstop Jordy Mercer by settling on a $6.75MM salary for 2018, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Mercer, who’d been projected to earn $6.5MM, is entering his final year of team control and will be a free agent next winter. Biertempfel also reports that Gerrit Cole will earn that same $6.75MM salary in 2018 — a $3MM raise over last year (Twitter link). He has two years of control remaining and had been projected to earn $7.4MM. Righty George Kontos has also agreed to terms, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter). He had projected for $2.7MM and will receive a smidge more, at $2,725,000, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).

National League East

  • The Braves reached a $3.4MM deal with righty Arodys Vizcaino, per Jon Heyman of FanRag (Twitter link). He’d been projected at $3.7MM. The Braves and righty Dan Winkler agreed to a $610K salary for the upcoming season, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Winkler tossed just 14 1/3 innings in the Majors this year as he made his way back from elbow surgery. He’d projected at $800K.
  • The Marlins and Miguel Rojas agreed to a $1.18MM deal for 2018, Heyman tweets, placing him north of his $1.1MM projection. Rojas should see additional playing time following the Marlins’ wave of trades this offseason. He’s controlled through 2020. Miami also has a deal in place with infielder Derek Dietrich for $2.9MM, Heyman tweets, after projecting at $3.2MM.
  • The Mets were able to settle perhaps their most notable arb case, agreeing to a $7.4MM deal with righty Jacob deGrom, per James Wagner of the New York Times (via Twitter). That’s well shy of his $9.2MM projection, though MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had explained the formula likely overestimated deGrom’s earning power by quite a wide margin. Fellow top righty Noah Syndergaard gets $2.975MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter), which goes a fair sight past the $1.9MM projection for the outstanding young starter, whose 2017 season was limited by injury. And reliever AJ Ramos will take home $9.225MM, according to Wagner (via Twitter). That’s just barely past the $9.2MM projection.  Wilmer Flores has also avoided arbitration with the Mets, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports (on Twitter). He’ll receive a $3.4MM salary, which falls within $300K of his projected rate. The Mets control Flores through the 2019 campaign. The Mets and right-hander Matt Harvey agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.625MM, tweets Nightengale. Harvey, who is a free agent next winter, had been projected to earn $5.9MM. Meanwhile, Marc Carig of Newsday tweets that Jeurys Familia will earn $7.925MM for the upcoming year, while Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that catcher Travis d’Arnaud will earn $3.475MM in 2018 (Twitter link). Familia, a free agent next winter, was projected at $7.4MM. The Mets control d’Arnaud through 2019, and his projection was $3.4MM. Righty Hansel Robles gets $900K, Heyman tweets.
  • Also via Nightengale (Twitter link), the Nationals agreed to a $6.475MM salary for 2018 with right-hander Tanner Roark. That falls about $1MM shy of his $7.5MM projection but still represents a noted raise of $4.315MM for Roark, whom the Nats control through 2019. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that Michael Taylor will earn $2.525MM next year. Taylor is controlled through 2020 and was projected at $2.3MM.
  • The Phillies and Maikel Franco settled on a $2.95MM salary for the 2018 season, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Franco, a Super Two player who’d been projected at $3.6MM, remains under club control with the Phils through the 2021 season. Second bagger Cesar Hernandez will earn at a $5.1MM rate in 2018, per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki (via Twitter). That beats his $4.7MM projection and wraps up this year’s arb business for the Phillies.
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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Avoid Arbitration With Yasmani Grandal, Pedro Baez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112191 2018-01-12T05:20:00Z 2018-01-12T05:12:47Z
  • The Dodgers and catcher Yasmani Grandal have settled on a one-year, $7.9MM contract for the 2018 season, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The switch-hitting Grandal, long rated as one of the game’s top pitch framers, will be a free agent next winter. He’d been projected at $7.7MM. Nightengale also tweets that righty Pedro Baez will land a $1.5MM salary for the upcoming season, matching his projected salary on the dot.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yu Darvish Choosing Among Six Teams]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112159 2018-01-11T06:12:59Z 2018-01-11T05:34:03Z Yu Darvish is widely considered to be the top starting pitcher available in free agency, and while his market — like the market of nearly every other top free agent this winter — has been slow to progress, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Darvish has whittled the decision down to a handful of teams: the Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Twins and Yankees. Darvish himself has hardly been shy about stirring the pot on social media this winter, though, and he created an additional layer of intrigue tonight when he responded to the report by tweeting: “I know one more team is in.” The Dodgers may very well be the sixth team to which Darvish alluded, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweeted tonight that Los Angeles “remains in the mix” to bring Darvish back to L.A.

    In his column, Wilson once again cautions that the Rangers aren’t a prime suitor for Darvish. The right-hander, according to Wilson, would prefer to return to Arlington were all things equal, but the Rangers aren’t expected to pursue top-tier free agents, as has reportedly been the case for the entire winter. Wilson reported three months ago that Texas was aiming to trim payroll by about $10MM for the coming season, which would leave them around $155MM overall. A backloaded contract for Darvish could technically still make that goal possible, but Wilson strongly suggests that the Rangers won’t be making any moves of the “all-in” variety this winter. The Rangers’ payroll projects to check in around $144MM as things presently stand.

    Both the Yankees and Astros have been prominently linked to another high-end rotation candidate recently, as both have been said in recent weeks to be in talks for Pittsburgh righty Gerrit Cole. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow earlier today shot down a report that his team had struck an agreement to acquire Cole, but both New York and Houston appear to have some level of interest more cost-effective trade candidates.

    The Yankees, of course, have been hard at work trying to bolster their 2018 roster while simultaneously remaining south of the luxury tax barrier (to great success thus far), while Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported just yesterday (subscription required and recommended) that Houston prefers to trade for a pitcher like Cole rather than shell out a massive contract to Darvish or another free-agent starter. If the Yankees can find a way to shed a significant portion of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract (which seems unlikely) or if the Astros ultimately deem all of their trade targets too expensive in terms of prospects, then perhaps on of those clubs will take a more serious look at Darvish.

    Minnesota, meanwhile, has long been reported to be one of the more aggressive teams on Darvish, who knows Twins GM Thad Levine quite well from the pair’s time with the Rangers. Of all the teams in the mix, the Twins’ payroll outlook is by far the most open (zero dollars on the books beyond the 2019 season). As for the Cubs, they’ve been tied to Darvish, Jake Arrieta and fellow righty Alex Cobb as they seek to round out their rotation and remain atop a competitive NL Central division.

    The Dodgers, like the Yankees, are facing some self-imposed financial restrictions. Both clubs are trying to reset their luxury tax penalty level, and the Dodgers look to have done so in the Adrian Gonzalez/Scott Kazmir/Brandon McCarthy/Matt Kemp trade. Bringing Darvish back into the fold would once again push them north of the tax line, L.A. is also looking for ways in which to shed Kemp’s contract. As is the case with the Yankees and Ellsbury, finding a taker for a notable portion of that deal could create additional flexibility.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers, Zach Neal Agree To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111877 2018-01-07T00:50:53Z 2018-01-07T00:50:53Z The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Zach Neal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). As Rosenthal notes, there’s familiarity between Neal and Dodgers general manager Fahran Zaidi stemming from their time together in the A’s organization from 2013-14.

    Neal debuted in the majors with Oakland in 2016, when he amassed 70 innings of 4.24 ERA pitching in 24 appearances (six starts). While Neal only managed a paltry 3.47 strikeouts per nine innings, he did his best to offset that with a sterling walk rate (0.77 BB/9) and a high groundball percentage (53.0). The 29-year-old struggled with the A’s last season, though, as he tossed just 14 2/3 frames and yielded 13 earned runs on 19 hits (five homers). Neal also wasn’t particularly effective in 21 Triple-A appearances and 16 starts, with a 3.91 K/9 and a 4.82 ERA.

    To his credit, Neal walked a mere 11 batters in 113 2/3 innings between the majors and minors in 2017, and he recorded a lofty 23.9 percent infield fly rate at the Triple-A level. Neal has a history of limiting walks, generating grounders and inducing infield pop-ups, which perhaps gives the Dodgers hope that he could turn into a quality major leaguer.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Approached Red Sox About Puig/Bradley Swap]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111754 2018-01-05T18:45:54Z 2018-01-05T18:33:42Z The Dodgers approached the Red Sox earlier this offseason about a trade that would’ve sent Yasiel Puig to Boston in exchange for Jackie Bradley Jr., reports Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The Sox, valuing Bradley’s elite glove and extra year of control (three years to Puig’s two), “quickly” declined the offer, and talks between the two sides never went beyond that stage. As Speier points out, however, the scenario is instructive when gauging the Red Sox’ valuation of Bradley, who is coming off a relatively disappointing season at the plate. Puig’s .263/.346/.487 slash and 28 homers dwarfed Bradley’s .245/.323/.402 output and 17 homers, but the Sox (who’ve been searching all offseason for an offensive upgrade), seemingly gave little consideration to the notion. Bradley’s name has been oft-speculated upon in various trade scenarios by fans and pundits alike, but it doesn’t seem as though the Boston brass views him in that light; president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski has said at multiple points this winter that he’s in no rush to deal Bradley, Speier adds.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Scott Alexander In 3-Team Swap With Royals, White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111710 2018-01-05T02:36:13Z 2018-01-05T00:03:02Z Three teams have announced a swap that will send lefty Scott Alexander from the Royals to the Dodgers. Infielder Jake Peter will also end up in Los Angeles, by way of the White Sox.

    Meanwhile, Kansas City will pick up righty Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia in the deal. The White Sox will end up with veteran relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan, the former from the Royals and the latter from the Dodgers.  Kansas City is sending $1MM to the White Sox, the Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd tweets. Chicago will also receive $2MM from the Dodgers, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    For the Dodgers, the move is all about bolstering a relief unit that lost Grant Dayton to injury (and a subsequent waiver claim) and midseason acquisition Tony Watson to free agency. While Tony Cingrani remains on hand, Los Angeles was obviously interested in adding another southpaw to the pen.

    [RELATED: Updated Dodgers Depth Chart]

    Feb 20, 2017; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Alexander (54) poses for a photo during spring training photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    Alexander, 28, has accrued just over one year of MLB service, so he’s not even slated to reach arbitration eligibility until 2020. While he’s hardly a household name, he did turn in 69 innings of 2.48 ERA ball in 2017, his first full season at the game’s highest level.

    While he recorded just 7.7 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 on the year, Alexander generated an eye-popping 73.8% groundball rate (and an above-average 12.8% swinging-strike rate, too). Despite relying almost exclusively on his power sinker — he utilized a breaking ball less than ten percent of the time — Alexander generated excellent results against hitters on both sides of the plate. In fact, he spent most of his time dominating righties, who strode to the plate against him 202 times and managed only a .240/.313/.317 batting line.

    The move also delivers a young, upper-level infielder to the Dodgers system. The 25-year-old Peter split time at the two highest levels of the minors over the past two years. He thrived in particular upon earning his way back to Triple-A in 2017, slashing .292/.351/.506 over 194 plate appearances.

    For the Royals, meanwhile, this is mostly about shedding salary obligations. The club will move all of Soria’s $9MM salary for 2018, while covering the $1MM buyout on a 2019 mutual option. While doing so will entail parting with a quality, affordable young reliever, the team will at least pick up some prospect assets as well.

    [RELATED: Updated Royals Depth Chart]

    Oaks is the highest-rated young asset in the deal; he could even compete for a rotation spot in camp. Last year, he worked to a 3.64 ERA in 84 Triple-A frames, carrying 7.7 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 along with a 50.8% groundball rate. (Typically, the sinkerballer has induced even more worm burners than that.) Oaks will head onto the K.C. 40-man roster; he had been added by the Dodgers in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

    The switch-hitting Mejia, 23, slashed a useful .289/.357/.413 in his 403 Double-A plate appearances in 2017. He also contributed seven home runs and 25 stolen bases on the year while spending time at short, second, and third. Mejia originally signed with the Mariners organization out of his native Dominican Republic; he landed with the Dodgers by way of a 2016 trade that sent righty Joe Wieland to Seattle.

    The involvement of the White Sox is geared mostly toward securing some veteran relief pieces at reasonable prices. Avilan projects to earn $2.3MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility, but most of that will be covered by the Dodgers. (Of course, that characterization depends upon perspective; L.A. essentially passed through Soria’s contract in the deal, so part of the money could be considered as allocated to his 2018 guarantee.)

    [RELATED: Updated White Sox Depth Chart]

    Having dealt and acquired a whole host of relievers in 2017, the White Sox will now secure two experienced hurlers to bolster an unproven unit and perhaps also provide the organization with some new trade chips. The right-handed Soria rang up 10.3 K/9 and allowed only a single home run in his 56 innings in 2017, ending the year with a 3.70 ERA. He could now be the favorite to step into the White Sox’ closer role. As for Avilan, a 28-year-old southpaw, he managed a 2.93 ERA in his 46 frames while carrying 10.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and a 53.8% groundball rate.

    Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported (Twitter links) that Alexander was going to the Dodgers and Soria to the White Sox. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) and ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (in a tweet) had other components of the deal.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Reportedly Nearing Trade With White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111611 2018-01-05T01:42:26Z 2018-01-04T23:43:01Z While there’s nothing in the way of details, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com dangles an intriguing nugget of information on Twitter: the Dodgers and White Sox, he says, are “working on a trade.” Beyond observing the obvious — the former is a clear contender and the latter still in a rebuilding stance — it’s hard to say just what might be afoot. While most of Chicago’s most obvious trade assets have already been moved over the past year or so, the team still possesses a few veteran hitters and some interesting young arms that might theoretically be of interest to Los Angeles. And it’s anyone’s guess just what player(s) might have capture the attention of the always-creative Dodgers front office. Anyhow, for now, we’ll take Crasnick’s advice and “stay tuned” for more details to emerge.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Hire Mark Prior As Bullpen Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111574 2018-01-03T02:03:46Z 2018-01-03T02:03:46Z
  • The Dodgers have hired former major league right-hander Mark Prior to serve as their bullpen coach, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links here). Prior had worked as the division-rival Padres’ minor league pitching coordinator since he officially retired from the game in 2013. The 37-year-old was “very good” in that role, notes Brown, who suggests Prior could eventually take over for Rick Honeycutt as the Dodgers’ pitching coach.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Dylan Baker]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111546 2018-01-02T18:12:41Z 2018-01-02T17:13:58Z 12:10pm: The transaction actually occurred as a trade, with the Brewers set to receive cash or a player to be named later in the deal, per a club announcement.

    11:13am: The Dodgers have claimed righty Dylan Baker off waivers from the Brewers, according to a tweet from Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Baker had been designated for assignment by Milwaukee.

    The 25-year-old hurler has spent his entire professional playing career to date with the Indians, who took him in the fifth round of the 2012 draft out of Western Nevada College. He was claimed by the Brewers earlier in the offseason, though obviously he won’t end up suiting up with that organization (barring future waiver movement).

    Though Baker has not thrown much of late, owing to Tommy John surgery, he has obviously drawn the attention of scouts around the game. In 2017, Baker worked to a 2.84 ERA in 12 2/3 Double-A frames over 13 appearances, recording a healthy 10:1 K/BB ratio. He had mostly worked previously as a starter, so it’s somewhat unclear what role he might occupy moving forward.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 12/26/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111184 2017-12-26T14:58:03Z 2017-12-26T14:58:03Z Here are the day’s minor moves from around baseball…

    • The Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball announced Tuesday that they’ve signed former Dodgers farmhand O’Koyea Dickson (English link via the Japan Times). Dickson, 27, made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 2017 but went hitless in seven trips to the plate. However, he’s compiled a solid .275/.341/.499 batting line with 55 homers and 77 doubles in 1255 plate appearances across parts of three Triple-A seasons. Dickson has played primarily first base in the minors (3230 innings), but he also comes with nearly 1200 innings of experience in left field. The Eagles announced him as an outfielder, so it seems that’s how he’ll be viewed in his first year of action overseas.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Henry Owens]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111009 2017-12-22T19:45:38Z 2017-12-22T19:45:38Z The Dodgers announced on Friday that they’ve claimed left-hander Henry Owens off waivers from the Diamondbacks. Arizona had claimed Owens off outright waivers from the Red Sox earlier this winter.

    Owens was once considered to be one of the game’s best overall prospects. However, he’s managed just a 5.19 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9 in 85 big league innings and saw his control of the strike zone, which has long been an issue for him, utterly evaporate in 2017 when he walked 115 batters, hit 17 more and threw 17 wild pitches in 126 Triple-A innings this season.

    Owens has a minor league option remaining, so the Dodgers will have the luxury of being able to send him to the minors to attempt to get back on track if they wish, though the Triple-A Pacific Coast League isn’t exactly a friendly environment for a pitcher looking to refine his mechanics and reestablish his confidence. Nonetheless, Los Angeles has made a habit of collecting optionable players and leveraging the flexibility those assets provide, in conjunction with the shortened 10-day DL minimum, over the course of a full big league season.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Sign Tom Koehler]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=110380 2017-12-20T22:55:32Z 2017-12-20T22:54:28Z Dec. 20: The Dodgers formally announced the signing of Koehler today. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets that the righty will earn $2MM and can earn incentives based on games started and relief appearances. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale adds that Koehler would earn $1.25MM for starting 25 games and $500K for making 60 total appearances.

    Dec. 15: The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year deal with righty Tom Koehler, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). Financial details are not yet known. Koehler is represented by Pro Agents, Inc.

    Koehler, 31, was non-tendered by the Blue Jays after the 2017 season. He had been projected to earn a hefty $6MM via arbitration. Koehler remains eligible to be tendered arbitration after the 2018 season.

    Given the salary, that decision came as little surprise. But it’s also not hard to see why the reigning National League champs have made a move to bring in the veteranr right-hander.

    While he struggled badly in the first half of the 2017 season, Koehler rebounded upon going to the Jays, where he moved into the bullpen and increasingly favored his curve over his slider. Over 17 frames, Koehler allowed five earned runs on 16 hits and six walks while recording 18 strikeouts.

    Though it seems clear the Dodgers will use Koehler out of the bullpen, it doesn’t hurt that he comes with a long track record as a starter. Through 749 2/3 career innings working out of the rotation, Koehler carries a 4.44 ERA. In addition to multi-inning capacity, he has also generally proven to be effective against opposite-handed batters. While lefties knocked Koehler around in 2017, he actually carries slight reverse platoon splits for his career.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Have Interest In Yoshihisa Hirano]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=110729 2017-12-20T04:24:16Z 2017-12-20T04:24:16Z
  • The Dodgers have some interest in Japanes closer Yoshihisa Hirano, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports tweeted recently. The 33-year-old Hirano has starred for NPB’s Orix Buffaloes for quite some time, amassing 143 saves with a 2.62 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 through 271 1/3 innings from 2013-17. Hirano, who will turn 34 next spring, has enough professional experience that he’s exempt from the posting system and is able to sign a Major League deal without going through the posting system. He’s also been linked to the Cardinals and Tigers this winter.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Receiving Minimal Trade Interest In Matt Kemp]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=110687 2017-12-19T16:18:22Z 2017-12-19T16:18:22Z When the Dodgers recently pulled off a big-contract swap with the Braves that improved the team’s luxury tax accounting, they ended up with former star outfielder Matt Kemp. It remains difficult to see Kemp ending up on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, but the team is also finding little interest in the veteran from other organizations, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag.

    Indeed, per Heyman, “the trade market for Kemp is believed to be virtually nonexistent at the moment.” That’s hardly surprising, of course. Atlanta no doubt would have moved Kemp previously if there had been an opportunity. He’s worth nothing close to what’s left on his contract, which has been traded three times already.

    Still, we heard recently about the possibility of the Dodgers including prospects as an inducement to another organization to take over a portion of the Kemp deal. Just how much cash might move off the L.A. books would surely depend upon the quality of the prospect(s) up for the bidding, with any such deal potentially representing an interesting look at the market valuation of some young talent.

    Whether that sort of scenario might yet be in play is not yet clear, but it seems the Dodgers won’t be able to get much of a credit for the rights to Kemp himself. But that’s not to say that there’s no potential value left in the veteran slugger, who only just turned 33 years of year.

    Kemp, after all, is still a significant power threat who has managed slightly above-average offensive production over the past three seasons. While health, defense, and on-base questions persist, he could well be worthy of a MLB roster spot — particularly for an American League team that is in need of a slugger that can mash against opposing lefties (against whom Kemp carries a lifetime .921 OPS).

    In any event, the Dodgers likely aren’t in much of a rush at present. Even with Kemp on the 40-man, the club has three open roster spots to work with. Unless and until pressure is created in that realm, the Los Angeles front office can explore any number creative ways to shed some of the obligations to Kemp while maximizing the organization’s resources in addressing other needs.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reactions To And Effects Of Dodgers-Braves Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=110536 2017-12-17T03:22:38Z 2017-12-17T03:22:38Z The Dodgers and Braves swung an out-of-nowhere, payroll-geared trade Saturday consisting of five major leaguers, with just one (Matt Kemp) going to Los Angeles in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson. LA, which made the trade for luxury tax purposes, previously tried to send Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy to the Marlins as part of a package for now-Yankee Giancarlo Stanton, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. Although that failed, Dodgers brass already had a fallback option in the Braves, whose general manager – Alex Anthopoulos – worked in LA’s front office until mid-November. The two sides began discussing the parameters of Saturday’s trade shortly after his hiring, per McCullough. Talks gained steam during this week’s Winter Meetings before culminating in an agreement Saturday.

    • The Braves immediately designated Gonzalez for assignment after his acquisition, but the 35-year-old had to waive his no-trade clause before the deal could occur. Gonzalez touched on that choice afterward, saying in a statement: “My final decision was not based on playing time, as I had agreed to a limited bench role. It is a way to test the free-agent market and see what opportunities are out there for me so I can make the best decision moving forward for me and my family. Lifting the no-trade clause is the hardest decision I have ever made in my career due to the fact that I loved every single second being a Dodger.”
    • The Padres will consider a reunion with Gonzalez if they’re unable to reel in free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today suggests (Twitter link). Gonzalez was a franchise player in San Diego from 2006-10, slashing .288/.374/.514 with 161 home runs in 3,425 plate appearances and earning three All-Star nods.
    • Shortly after the news broke, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Dodgers would likely trade or release Kemp before he ever plays another game in their uniform (he was previously with LA from 2006-14). The Dodgers will first try to flip Kemp, confirms McCullough, who adds that they “appear willing to offer prospects” to help convince someone to take some of his contract. Kemp, 33, is due $21.5MM in each of the next two seasons. Keith Law of ESPN opines that he wouldn’t even be worth picking up if the Dodgers ate all of that money (subscription required and recommended). Regarding a discussion he had with Kemp, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said: “I was very open and honest with him about what the future might hold. It’s just too difficult to say, definitively, at this point.”
    • Having completed this trade, it seems the Braves’ heavy lifting for the offseason is mostly over, as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution details. They improved their defense by getting rid of Kemp, thus freeing up a spot in the outfield for elite prospect Ronald Acuna (he’ll be in the majors early in 2018, whether it’s Opening Day or a bit later); added a veteran starter in McCarthy (possibly two if Kazmir recovers from a hip injury); and landed a backup infielder they like in Culberson. While Anthopoulos said the Braves could still seek a third baseman and relief help, he noted that those areas are not priorities, O’Brien writes.
    • Meanwhile, Nightengale, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs and Bill Shaikin of the LA Times agree that this trade will help set up an action-packed offseason in a year. Now that the Dodgers are unlikely to exceed the $197MM luxury tax threshold in 2018, they can be more aggressive in trying to reel in certain members of a star-studded class of free agents next winter. One of their own standouts, left-hander Clayton Kershaw, could be a prominent part of that group.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Matt Kemp For Adrian Gonzalez, Kazmir, McCarthy, Culberson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=110476 2017-12-16T21:50:06Z 2017-12-16T20:12:01Z In a stunning swap of big contracts, the Dodgers have traded first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left-hander Scott Kazmir, right-hander Brandon McCarthy and infielder Charlie Culberson to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Matt Kemp. The Braves will also receive $4.5MM in cash. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report news of the trade. Furthermore, Mark Bowman of MLB.com adds that the Braves have already designated Gonzalez for assignment. A source close to Rosenthal tells him that the Dodgers are likely to trade or release Kemp (Twitter link).

    There’s a ton to unpack here, but the biggest motivator of the trade appears to be money, and more specifically luxury tax implications for the Dodgers. Rosenthal notes in another tweet that the trade is “effectively cash-neutral overall,” but adds that the swap will put the Dodgers below the $197MM luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season. That will allow the Dodgers to reset the escalating luxury tax penalties, which seems to have been a significant objective for the club this offseason. The money owed to Kemp is spread out across the 2018-2019 seasons, while Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy all have just one year remaining on their contracts.

    Rosenthal offers further clarification yet, as he points out that the Dodgers have paid the luxury tax for five consecutive seasons. Their penalty for 2017 was over $30MM, but if they keep their payroll below $197MM, their penalty will drop from 50% on the overage to 20% the next time they exceed the luxury tax threshold.

    Adrian Gonzalez

    Joel Sherman reports in his own tweet that the Braves are planning to release Gonzalez, but can’t do so until Monday since MLB teams can’t release players on weekends during the offseason. Gonzalez actually had to waive his no-trade clause in order to make this trade possible, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that he did so mainly because the Dodgers told him he’d be buried on the bench and receive limited at-bats.

    [RELATED: Updated Dodgers Depth Chart; Updated Braves Depth Chart]

    As for the Braves, the $4.5MM they’ll get in the deal will even out the overall dollars swapped in the trade (hat tip to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports). GM Alex Anthopoulos says that McCarthy satisfies the team’s “desire to add a veteran starter,” while Culberson fills their need for a bench player (via Mark Bowman of MLB.com). Kazmir has some upside as a rotation piece too.

    Not insignificant is the fact that the Dodgers have opened up multiple spots on their 40-man roster, including one that was already earmarked for Tom Koehler, with whom the Dodgers have recently agreed to a one-year deal.

    Matt Kemp (vertical)

    Kemp, 33, was a sixth-round selection of the Dodgers back in 2003. He made his major league debut in 2007, and went on to have some great seasons for Los Angeles, including a 2011 campaign in which he finished as the runner-up in the MVP voting. Later that year, the club signed the outfielder to an eight-year, $160MM extension. Not long after that, his performance began to decline; Kemp has only topped 1 WAR once in the past four seasons as his contract has been tossed between the Padres, Braves and Dodgers. For the 2017 season, Kemp hit .276/.318/.463, making him a roughly average major league hitter (100 wRC+). However, his poor defense in the outfield dropped his overall value to -0.5 fWAR.

    Gonzalez, now 35 years of age, went to the Marlins with the number one overall pick in the 2000 draft. His breakout season came with the Padres in 2006; that year began a streak of ten consecutive seasons wherein the left-handed-hitting first baseman posted at least 2.9 fWAR. Across those years, he posted a .292/.366/.501 slash line and mashed 283 homers. This past season, however, Gonzalez battled injuries throughout the year and didn’t hit well when healthy; he amassed only 252 plate appearances across 71 games with the Dodgers and managed a career-worst .355 slugging percentage. All told, Gonzalez was valued at 1.1 wins below replacement level.

    Kazmir’s story is a roller coaster of sorts; he was a great pitcher during his early years with the then-Devil Rays, including a 2007 season in which he posted a 3.48 ERA with 239 strikeouts across 206 2/3 innings. However, Kazmir began to struggle with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2009, and though he experienced a resurgence in July that prompted a trade to the Angels, his ERA during the 2009 postseason was an ugly 7.59. Those struggles continued into the 2010 season, and by 2011 Kazmir was pitching for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate and was cut before June was over. After spending 2012 out of MLB entirely, the Indians took a chance on him in 2013, and he rewarded them with a 4.04 ERA (and 3.51 FIP) campaign that earned him the Comeback Player of the Year Award. He signed a two-year deal with the Athletics the following offseason, and seemed to be “back.” The Dodgers signed Kazmir to a three-year, $48MM deal, but the injury bug struck once again, marring his 2016 performance and keeping him off the field entirely in 2017.

    The 34-year-old McCarthy has a career 4.15 ERA across 1,145 big league innings with the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Dodgers. He’s generally provided value while on the field, but has only topped 140 innings twice in his twelve-year career. Part of that can be attributed to injuries, including a 2015 Tommy John surgery when he famously noted on Twitter that “31 years is a lot to ask for from a ligament.” During the past two seasons, he’s put up a 4.27 ERA while striking out 116 batters in 132 2/3 innings.

    Based on his age and team control, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Culberson is the one player in this deal who looks capable of being a long-term piece. The Georgia native won’t even be eligible for arbitration until next winter, meaning the Braves could control him for the next four seasons. The righty-hitting Culberson hasn’t found much big league success since debuting in 2012, though, having hit just .229/.269/.321 in 443 PAs with three NL West clubs – the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers. Culberson racked up a mere 83 trips to the plate in two seasons with the Dodgers, but he did swat a couple dramatic homers during his LA tenure.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Still In Contact With Yu Darvish]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=109675 2017-12-12T22:34:43Z 2017-12-12T22:34:43Z
  • The Dodgers are still in “active dialogue” with Yu Darvish, GM Farhan Zaidi told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and other reporters.  Andrew Friedman said yesterday that the team was more focused on relievers than starters due to the number of depth rotation options already in the organization, though with Darvish’s market yet to fully develop, it only makes sense that L.A. would continue to check in with the ace righty.  In regards to the Dodgers’ bullpen search, Zaidi noted that the team is looking for value additions rather than at the top of the market.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Notes: Friedman, Payroll, Bullpen, Starters]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=109564 2017-12-12T11:00:34Z 2017-12-12T11:00:34Z
  • It is “fair to say” that the Dodgers’ 2018 payroll will be lower than $237MM, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and other media.  Exceeding that figure would balloon the team’s luxury tax rate to 95 percent and drop their position in the June amateur draft back by 10 spots.  Counting arbitration projections and money owed to players no longer on the roster, the Dodgers’ payroll stands at over $208MM for next season, so they do have some room to make upgrades though it seems unlikely that they’d take on any major salary commitments without first unloading some of their existing big contracts.
  • Also from Friedman, the Dodgers are prioritizing bullpen additions.  Starting pitching doesn’t seem to be a need, as Friedman likes their current rotation depth and wants to give younger pitchers “a soft landing spot in the big leagues to go through their acclimation process.  We have a talented enough group to ride that out a little bit.”  As Gurnick notes, this makes it seem unlikely that L.A. would re-sign Yu Darvish.  Of course, the Dodgers did make a push for one very notable starter in Shohei Ohtani, though that was a unique circumstance due to Ohtani’s minimal costs.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers To Sign Former Braves Prospect Guillermo Zuniga]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=109539 2017-12-12T06:45:10Z 2017-12-12T06:45:10Z
  • The Dodgers have agreed to sign Colombian right-hander Guillermo Zuniga to a deal with a $205K bonus, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (Twitter link).  Zuniga was one of the 12 former Braves prospects who were declared free agents in the wake of MLB’s investigation into signing improprieties within Atlanta’s front office.  Each of the other 29 teams received an extra $200K in international bonus pool funds to sign any of these players, so the Dodgers only slightly dipped into their pre-existing pool money for Zuniga.  The Braves originally signed Zuniga, 19, to a $350K bonus.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reactions To And Effects Of The Giancarlo Stanton Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=109213 2017-12-10T03:52:12Z 2017-12-10T03:52:12Z The Yankees shook the baseball world early Saturday when they agreed to acquire 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. As you’d expect, the deal has elicited no shortage of media reactions, many of which we’ve rounded up here:

    • While the Los Angeles-born Stanton would have preferred to go to the Dodgers, they didn’t make an offer that “intrigued” the Marlins, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. Sending Stanton to the Dodgers would have required the Marlins to take on more bad contracts than they were “comfortable with,” according to Sherman, who reports that LA wanted Miami to accept one or both of Adrian Gonzalez or Scott Kazmir and absorb $30MM of Stanton’s contract. The Marlins found acquiring Starlin Castro from the Yankees much more appealing, as he’s someone they could slot in at second base or flip elsewhere.
    • The Dodgers’ wariness toward a more aggressive Stanton pursuit stemmed from the back-loaded nature of his 10-year, $295MM commitment, per Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription required and recommended). If he doesn’t opt out of his contract after 2020, Stanton will rake in $96MM over the final three years of his pact, when he’ll be in his late 30s. The Yankees will be able to slot him in at designated hitter then if his work in the field sharply declines with age, whereas the Dodgers would have had to continue running him out as a defender.
    • Adding Stanton gives the Yankees as many as six major league-caliber outfielders, thereby making Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier potential trade candidates. The Yankees will work to rid themselves of Ellsbury, even if it means eating “a lot” of the $68.3MM left on his contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Ellsbury was reportedly uninterested in leaving the Yankees as of earlier this week, but that was before the acquisition of Stanton relegated him to the role of a fifth outfielder. While Ellsbury, who has a full no-trade clause, would be a salary dump, the 23-year-old Frazier would likely bring back a quality return – perhaps a starter, King suggests. Additionally, the Yankees “would certainly listen on offers” for third baseman Chase Headley, per King. Headley is entering the last year of his contract, in which he’ll make $13MM.
    • With new Marlins owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman on a mission to continue paring down payroll to the $90MM range, Castro looks like their most obvious trade chip, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. By parting with Castro – who has two years and $22MM left on his pact – and not taking back another guaranteed contract, Miami would still be about $15MM above its spending goal, Jackson notes. Further payroll slashing could come from deals involving some combination of Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Martin Prado, Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa. Moving Castro, Ozuna, Ziegler and Tazawa would likely obviate any need to trade Yelich, Jackson suggests.
    • Prior to the Yankees’ Stanton acquisition, they looked poised to go after Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper in free agency a year from now. That may be out the window now, leading Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post to posit that the trade probably helps the Nationals to some degree because it appears to erase a would-be Harper suitor. However, several other teams will make big offers to Harper, Janes points out, so retaining him on what should be a record contract still figures to be a tall order for the Nats.
    • Harper is among the losers in this trade, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic opines (subscription required and recommended). Unsurprisingly, Harper’s agent, the always colorful Scott Boras, disagrees. “A Bronx opera . . . The Three Tenors . . . Hal’s genius, vision,” Boras told Rosenthal via email, referencing Harper, Stanton, Aaron Judge and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. Boras added that the Harper-Stanton-Judge trio would be “a galaxy of international popularity” on the same team. While Boras clearly isn’t ruling out a Yankees-Harper union, Rosenthal sees Manny Machado as a more likely target for the club in free agency next year.
    • The fact that Stanton is set to join a Yankees team that was just one win from securing a World Series trip last season is a major blow to parity in the AL, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs argues. Cameron classifies the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox and Indians as potential “super teams” heading into next season, and the Angels could be on their way to the playoffs after winning the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. As impressive as those clubs look, there’s now less incentive for others to play for the last wild-card spot, Cameron contends, which could lead certain fringe teams to rebuild.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Free Agent Profile: Yu Darvish]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=109003 2017-12-09T05:11:28Z 2017-12-09T05:11:28Z Yu Darvish hits the open market as both the top free agent pitcher available and, in MLBTR’s view, the top free agent of the entire 2017-18 class.

    Strengths/Pros

    After seven years of stardom in Japan, Darvish came to North American baseball with great fanfare in the 2011-12 offseason, and he has since lived up to the hype.  In 832 1/3 Major League innings, Darvish has a 3.42 ERA, 11.04 K/9, 3.33 K/BB rate, and 19 fWAR, firmly establishing himself as a front-of-the-rotation arm.

    Yu DarvishTommy John surgery sidelined Darvish for all of 2015 and limited him to 100 1/3 innings in 2016, though he looked healthy in a full season of work last year plus an extended postseason run with the Dodgers.  Darvish tossed a combined 201 1/3 innings between the regular season and playoffs, the second-highest total of his MLB career.  Beyond just the workload, Darvish also set a new career best by averaging 94.2 mph on his fastball.

    It’s worth noting that Darvish’s numbers with the Rangers prior to his deadline trade to L.A. were somewhat below his usual standard, thanks in part to a career-high 1.3 HR/9.  While those home run issues continued after Darvish went from Texas to Los Angeles, he took quite well to pitching in the NL, posting better strikeout and walk rates as a Dodger than he did in 137 IP with the Rangers before the deal.  His cumulative 10.08 K/9 for the season was the lowest of his career, though Darvish balanced that minor dip in punchouts with a 2.8 BB/9, continuing his trend of exhibiting better control throughout his big league career.

    Since Darvish was dealt during the season, he wasn’t eligible for a qualifying offer, and thus a team doesn’t have to give up any draft picks or international bonus money in order to sign him.  This gives Darvish a slight edge over his top competition in free agency, as Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn, and Alex Cobb all have QO compensation attached to their services.

    Weaknesses/Cons

    Beyond the obvious red flag of the Tommy John surgery, Darvish has made five other trips to the disabled list during his MLB career, ranging from minor neck and back stiffness to rather lengthier DL stints for elbow and shoulder issues.  Though Darvish just turned 31 last August, he has 2127 2/3 regular-season innings on his arm between both Japan and North America, not to mention extensive postseason work.  While he hasn’t really exhibited any signs of slowing down, it’s easy to see how a team could be worried about committing nine figures to Darvish into his mid-30’s.

    The spike in home runs allowed isn’t completely out of the blue (Darvish had a 14.4% homer rate in 2013), and clearly he was far from the only pitcher who ran into trouble with the long ball during a record-setting season for homers.  Darvish’s 33.1% hard-hit ball rate was also a career-high, however, and his curveball was a below-average pitch in 2017 after previously being one of the most devastating weapons in his seven-pitch arsenal.

    No discussion of Darvish is complete with mentioning his awful World Series performance, though that could just be chalked up to the Astros having his number.  Darvish was very effective in his two starts earlier in the playoffs, and given the small-sample size factor of all postseason numbers, it’s hard to imagine any team wouldn’t be eager to give Darvish the ball this October.

    Personal

    Darvish has been dealing with the media spotlight since he was a teenager, rising from a highly-touted high school prospect into instant stardom with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.  His move to Major League Baseball drew intense interest from several teams, with the Rangers making the high bid (under the old posting system) of $51.7MM just for the rights to talk terms with Darvish, eventually signing him to a six-year, $56MM deal.

    Market

    While Darvish has drawn significant interest from at least six teams, there haven’t been too many rumblings about Darvish or other top free agent hurlers given that the Shohei Ohtani chase has so dominated the offseason pitching market.  Now that Ohtani has agreed to join the Angels, you can expect a least a few of the finalists in the Ohtani sweepstakes to turn their attention to Darvish, even though the veteran pitcher comes at a vastly higher price. Interest should be robust.

    The Cubs have already made one notable rotation signing in Tyler Chatwood, though adding Darvish would further bolster an already-strong rotation.  The Dodgers are also deep in pitching options, though they could explore a reunion with Darvish to guard against further rotation injuries.  A return to the Rangers doesn’t seem very likely, while San Diego, San Francisco or Seattle are also longer shots based on costs, though the Mariners seem to be taking such an aggressive approach to this offseason that they can’t be totally ruled out.

    Let’s not overlook the Angels themselves as possible candidates, as there has been some light speculation that Darvish and Ohtani could aim to be on the same team; the two are friends and Darvish is one of Ohtani’s idols.  Anaheim has some payroll room even after extending Justin Upton, and with Darvish added to the promising but injury-riddled rotation, the Halos could even look to trade one of their excess starters in their attempts to add second base help.

    The Twins and Cardinals have been linked to Darvish this winter, though St. Louis has already made one notable rotation addition and could be more focused on adding a big bat.  Minnesota is something of a surprise suitor for Darvish on paper, though the club has enough open payroll space in future seasons that signing Darvish is actually feasible.  (The Brewers are also a possible fit for the same reason.)  The Orioles and Phillies badly need arms but the former won’t meet Darvish’s price and the Phillies may be a year away from augmenting their rebuild with big-ticket free agents.  The Astros may prefer to earmark future money on extending their core players, though they make some sense for Darvish if they wanted to safeguard their rotation against Dallas Keuchel possibly leaving for free agency after 2018.

    Expected Contract

    MLBTR projected Darvish to land a six-year, $160MM contract this winter, which would work out to the fifth-highest average annual value given to any pitcher in baseball history.  It’s a big investment given Darvish’s age and the miles already on his arm, though it also looks to be market value for such an ace-level hurler that reaches free agency.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: 12/7/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108984 2017-12-08T13:40:14Z 2017-12-08T04:38:17Z The market for Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton has been stagnant for a few days now. That could change at any moment, if Stanton green-lights one of the deal structures currently in place. And we’ve heard there’s some anticipation of some kind of resolution by the end of the week. But the longer things drag out, the more time and space there is for the existing top suitors to waver — and, perhaps, for others to enter the picture more clearly. It’s still not evident how this will all turn out, but there are some hints that the situation is not necessarily nearing resolution:

    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic offers an updated look at the market in a subscription piece, with some interesting tweaks on what has become the status quo. It’s well worth a full read. There seems to be a split of opinion among Rosenthal’s sources as to just where things stand with regard to the Giants and Cardinals, with some saying Stanton is disinclined to approve a trade to either organization and others insisting his “thinking is fluid.” Regardless, those two clubs likely won’t linger around waiting forever, particularly if they come to believe they aren’t going to be able to convince the star to approve a deal. Should that come to pass, says Rosenthal, the Fish will be in a tough spot. If there’s a way out (beyond hoping Stanton says yes to one of the existing suitors), it may come from engaging both the Dodgers and — yes — the Yankees, each of whom Rosenthal says are still “on the periphery.” And Rosenthal adds that Stanton is open to a move to the Bronx. Of course, both of those mega-market clubs are in the process of reining in long-burdened balance sheets; Rosenthal writes that Miami would need to hang onto some significant cash (or take on pricey veterans in return) to get something done and perhaps entice real prospect value.
    • Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio hears similarly to Rosenthal regarding the Los Angeles and New York organizations (via Twitter). And his colleague Craig Mish even suggests (links to Twitter) that Stanton has now given the Marlins more clarity than had previously been known, with a list of four teams to which he’d approve a deal. The Astros and Cubs — neither of whom have been linked substantially to Stanton — are said to be on this list along with the Dodgers and Yankees. While the Giants and Cardinals are not on this “preferred list,” as Mish terms it, Stanton was at least willing to hear their pitches. Ultimately, this leaves it unknown whether Stanton has been swayed in his initial thinking and does not really conflict with prior reporting that has indicated Stanton would maintain an open mind entering the process.
    • Jon Heyman of Fan Rag painted at least a somewhat different picture earlier today, writing that the Dodgers are a “long shot” for Stanton if a move is to happen in the near future, as their limited engagement to date would leave them with quite a bit of work to do to sort out an agreement. With some indication that Stanton could make some kind of decision on interest from the Giants and Cardinals by the end of the week, it does not seem as if the Dodgers are likely to swoop in — but, perhaps, could still enter the picture if Stanton declines to go to San Francisco or St. Louis. It’s worth noting, too, that Heyman recently broached the topic of the Yankees’ ongoing interest in Stanton.
    • Speaking of the Giants’ interest in Stanton, Heyman writes that chief executive officer Larry Baer was among those to meet with the reigning MLB home run king. The CEO was previously reported to have met with Ohtani, too, so he’s clearly getting involved personally in these highly significant decisions for the organization. Baer “loves” the reigning NL MVP, according to Heyman, who adds that a free-agent pursuit of J.D. Martinez is viewed as the Giants’ primary alternative to Stanton.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giants Expect Decision From Giancarlo Stanton By End Of Week]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108848 2017-12-06T22:23:32Z 2017-12-06T22:05:28Z 4:05pm: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Evans about the Giants’ recent meeting with Stanton. The GM states to Shea that Stanton “had a good feel for what he wanted to hear from us” and acknowledged that AT&T Park is one of his favorite places to play. Stanton was complimentary of the Giants’ fans and the way in which they support the team.

    Though the process has dragged on for quite some time now, Evans reminds of the human side of what is a life-altering decision for Stanton: “There’s a lot of personal factors people don’t know about. We don’t necessarily know those personal factors as well.” Evans also, once again, confirmed that the two sides did reach an agreement, with contingencies, one of which (of course) is Stanton waiving his no-trade clause.

    2:44pm: The Giants anticipate that Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton will decide whether to waive his no-trade clause by the end of the week, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter), who does also note that the timeline is hardly set in stone.

    Pavlovic also notes that San Francisco views the Dodgers as a bigger “threat” to land Stanton, not the Cardinals — the other team that has been most involved in trade talks to this point. Along those same lines, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Dodgers and Marlins were in contact as recently as Tuesday, though their Stanton discussions are still not advanced.

    Giants GM Bobby Evans also acknowledged earlier today that the organization had a sit-down with Stanton, in an interview with KNBR (via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter). He also said that the team did put the terms of a deal in place with Miami in advance. Evans’ surprisingly candid comments run counter to yesterday’s comments from Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who said in an appearance on WINZ-AM radio (link via the Associated Press) that his team is still “gathering information” and that “anything up to this point has been speculation.”

    Whether or not a deal will come together in that time frame remains to be seen, of course. It’s conceivable that Stanton could simply decide he is not interested in waiving his no-trade clause at this point. But the report does hint that we could see resolution on the situation before the Winter Meetings, potentially freeing up other market movement — including the Marlins’ potential efforts to market other players and subsequent pivots to other targets for the Giants and Cardinals.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Has Completed In-Person Meetings With Prospective Teams]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108695 2017-12-06T20:14:08Z 2017-12-06T20:14:17Z As young Japanese star Shohei Ohtani moves toward a decision on where he’ll sign, it seems he will sit down in person with representatives from each of the seven MLB organizations that have been selected to continue on in his unique posting/signing process. Those seven teams are the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rangers, and Cubs. Ohtani will have to make his selection no later than December 22nd under the new posting rules established between Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

    Those that wish to learn more about the exciting two-way performer may want to visit some of these prior posts:

    We’ll track the latest updates on meetings in this post:

    • The Padres met with Ohtani on Tuesday night, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. While that stage of the process is completed, the remaining steps and timeline are not yet known.

    Earlier Updates

    • Ohtani also held court with the Angels on Monday night, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports, meaning that he held at least three meetings on each of the past two days.
    • The Mariners had their meeting with Ohtani this morning (Tuesday the 5th), Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Their delegation has yet to be identified. Likewise, the Cubs had a slot today, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link), with no other details known of their presentation.
    • Ohtani and his representatives also met with the Dodgers on Monday the 4th, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). Rosenthal notes that Ohtani’s camp is moving through the courtship process quickly and will have some days on which he meets with two prospective suitors in the same day.
    • Officials from the Rangers went to L.A. for their turn to pitch Ohtani, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, with the meeting taking place on Tuesday evening. Texas has long coveted Ohtani, like many clubs, and sent GM Jon Daniels to Japan earlier this year as part of an early play to draw his interest. As Wilson notes, the organization has $3.53MM available in pool space for a bonus; while that may not be a very telling factor, it’s the most that any of the seven teams will be able to promise Ohtani.
    • The Giants are the first known team to have met with Ohtani, and perhaps also the first actually to do so. According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the San Francisco organization sent representatives to meet with Ohtani and his representatives today (December 4). All of the team’s top brass was on hand, with CEO Larry Baer heading to Los Angeles along with president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, GM Bobby Evans, and skipper Bruce Bochy. And the Giants had at least one top player attend, with superstar catcher Buster Posey joining the delegation. Pavlovic has more details on the team’s longstanding interest in Ohtani and its plans for him in the event he signs there. While the team can’t offer DH at-bats, Bochy has indicated that Ohtani would stand to see time in the corner outfield. (You can find Pavlovic’s full article on that subject here.)
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Plans To Meet With Seven Teams]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108659 2017-12-04T13:34:05Z 2017-12-04T13:34:05Z Shohei Ohtani has already narrowed his list of potential landing spots to seven team, according to multiple reporters (with Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM the first to tweet the final seven). Only the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rangers and Cubs will receive meetings with Ohtani. While Ohtani has three weeks to negotiate with teams, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that Ohtani could make a decision well before that point, noting that he could be introduced by his new club at next week’s Winter Meetings.

    Of the remaining teams in the fold, the Rangers still have the most money to offer Ohtani, at $3.535MM, though his signing bonus seems increasingly to be a secondary consideration in where he ultimately signs, especially after last week’s reports that Ohtani could top $20MM in annual earnings in marketing endorsements. Certainly, his list of finalists reflects a preference for West Coast teams and a proximity to Japan, though the presence of the Rangers and Cubs indicates that he’s not quite locked into that mindset just yet.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners, Giants, Padres, Rangers, Cubs, Angels Among Teams To Meet With Shohei Ohtani]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108603 2017-12-04T05:40:13Z 2017-12-04T05:40:33Z 11:40pm: The Angels are indeed one of the finalists, as per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter).

    10:39pm: The Angels are thought by “multiple sources” to be one of the finalists, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets.  The Tigers are out of the running, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

    8:59pm: The Rangers and Cubs will both meet with Ohtani, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (Twitter link), and they’re also the only two non-West Coast teams who appear to still be alive in the candidate process.  The Rangers, Grant notes, have yet to comment on their status one way or the other.

    7:22pm: The Nationals won’t be receiving a meeting, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes reports (Twitter link).

    6:58pm: The Braves are out, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (via Twitter).

    6:50pm: The Padres will receive a meeting with Ohtani, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter links).  The Dodgers are also thought to still be active in the Ohtani sweepstakes though Heyman doesn’t have confirmation; regardless, the Dodgers aren’t thought to be favorites to land Ohtani.

    6:38pm: The Rays, Cardinals and White Sox are out, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (all Twitter links).

    6:15pm: The Diamondbacks won’t receive a meeting, Ken Rosenthal tweets.

    6:12pm: The Blue Jays, Pirates, and Brewers are all out, as respectively reported by Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi, MLB.com’s Adam Berry, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt (all Twitter links).

    5:48pm: The Mets are also out, as per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).

    5:38pm: Ohtani’s list is “heavy” on West Coast teams, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, though the Cubs may still be involved.  Not every west-based team is included, however, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the A’s aren’t involved.

    5:28pm: The Red Sox are also out of the running, president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  The Twins also won’t be getting a meeting with Ohtani, Heyman tweets.

    5:16pm: The Giants and Mariners are among the teams that will receive meetings with Shohei Ohtani and his representatives next week, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link).  It isn’t known who the other finalists are in the Ohtani sweepstakes, though the Yankees are one of the teams that didn’t make the cut, as Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty and MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).

    According to Cashman, Ohtani seems to be leaning towards West Coast teams in smaller markets.  This ties to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman saying that Ohtani’s reps are informing teams that the two-way star would prefer to play in a smaller market.

    The news adds another fascinating layer to the Ohtani sweepstakes, which was already one of the more intriguing free agent pursuits in recent memory.  Given the seeming lack of immediate financial motive that inspired Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball, it opened the door for every team in baseball (regardless of market or payroll size) to make a push for the 23-year-old.  There had been speculation that Ohtani might look to avoid playing in a larger market, so this apparent confirmation creates a realistic possibility that he will land with a team that wouldn’t normally be considered a favorite to land such a coveted free agent.

    Of course, San Francisco isn’t exactly a small market, though Ohtani wouldn’t necessarily be the center of attention on a club with such established stars as Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner (and maybe even Giancarlo Stanton in the near future).  Playing for an NL team, however, would force Ohtani into a pinch-hitting or even a part-time outfield role for the at-bats he seeks in his attempt to be a two-way player in the big leagues.  The Mariners do have such a DH spot available (in a timeshare with Nelson Cruz), and were considered to be a contender for Ohtani given their long history of Japanese players.

    The Yankees also have had several significant Japanese players on their past and current rosters, and were widely seen as one of the major favorites for Ohtani’s services from a financial (in terms of available international bonus money) and positional (openings at DH and in the rotation) standpoint, not to mention their international fame and their young core of talent ready to make a World Series push.  With Ohtani now out of the picture, the Yankees could move to signing more pitching depth — a reunion with C.C. Sabathia has been widely speculated as a possibility — or a veteran bat to serve as designated hitter, if the club doesn’t just rotate its DH days to find plate appearances for everyone on the current roster.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Agree To Framework Of Giancarlo Stanton Deals With Cards, Giants]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108579 2017-12-04T04:14:42Z 2017-12-04T04:14:35Z 10:14pm: The 2-3 day timeline is “quite a hopeful estimate,” sources tell Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    5:47pm: The Stanton deal is expected to be wrapped up within the next 2-3 days, Craig Mish tweets.

    4:41pm: The Cardinals are offering to take on more of Stanton’s money than the Giants, according to Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link).

    3:17pm: Neither the Cardinals nor Giants have set timetables for Stanton to make a decision, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

    1:58pm: The Marlins have agreed to the “general framework” of Giancarlo Stanton trades with both the Cardinals and the Giants, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Buster Olney of ESPN suggested earlier this week that was the case when the Stanton camp (him and agent Joel Wolfe) met with those clubs.

    Whether a deal ultimately occurs with the Cardinals or Giants will depend on Stanton’s willingness to waive his no-trade clause to join either club, which looks far from certain. In fact, Jim Bowden of SiriusXM tweets that the Dodgers are the only team he’d agree to waive his no-trade rights for as of now. Bowden adds that the Giants would have a better chance than the “long shot” Cardinals of landing the right fielder if the Dodgers were to pass on acquiring him. A Stanton trade is not expected to come together Sunday, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter link).

    The 27-year-old Stanton is a Los Angeles native who grew up rooting for the Dodgers, so his desire to join them more than anyone else isn’t surprising, especially when you consider their on-field success. Having never even played for a .500 team, let alone gone to the playoffs, since making his major league debut in 2010, Stanton made it clear during this past season that he’s tired of losing and wants to compete for championships. Stanton would likely get his wish to play meaningful baseball into the fall with the Dodgers, who are fresh off a National League-winning campaign, but Morosi reported earlier Sunday that the big-spending club is wary of the luxury-tax implications that would come with reeling in the NL MVP.

    Stanton is due $295MM over the next decade, and while the Marlins could eat a large portion of that in order to maximize their return for the 59-home run man, Olney reported Saturday that Miami’s primary goal is to get Stanton’s money off the books. That would seemingly be a problem for the Dodgers, who will incur significant penalties if they run a mammoth payroll again in 2018. The Dodgers spent $237MM-plus in each of the past several seasons, and if it happens again next year, they’ll have to pay an extra 45 percent surcharge tax. Additionally, their top draft pick for 2018 (No. 30 overall) will drop 10 spots. Jason Martinez of MLBTR and Roster Resource currently estimates LA’s payroll for next season to open at $208MM-plus, but that’s obviously without factoring in Stanton or any other potential additions.

    Meanwhile, although the Giants are already near the $197MM luxury tax for 2018 (they have upward of $190MM in payroll commitments), they’re reportedly willing to take on the majority of Stanton’s money if he’d waive his NTC to go to San Francisco. The Cardinals have far less money on the books for next year ($127MM-plus), but it’s unclear how much of Stanton’s money they’d add in a trade. Of course, along with the cash left on his deal, Stanton’s ability to opt out of the pact after the 2020 season has added another complication to trade talks between the Marlins and other teams. Despite the roadblocks, though,  the cost-cutting Marlins are seemingly in position to ship out Stanton if he green lights a move to St. Louis or San Francisco.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: 12/1/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108362 2017-12-05T00:35:30Z 2017-12-02T01:05:54Z With the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players set for 8pm tonight, there should be several agreements over the next few hours — particularly among players that were considered to be potential non-tender candidates. Many non-tender candidates will be presented with offers that are lower than what they’d project to earn via arbitration in a “take it or leave it” manner; some will agree to the lesser deal (as Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt did earlier this morning) while others will reject and likely hit the open market.

    Here’s today’s slate of players that have avoided the arb process and locked in at least a partial guarantee for the upcoming season (arbitration contracts are not fully guaranteed, but each of these players will be guaranteed one sixth of the agreed-upon sum unless specifically negotiated otherwise). All projections are via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

    • The Padres announced that lefty Robbie Erlin has agreed to a contract for 2018. The 27-year-old missed all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery and was projected to earn $700K through arbitration. Terms of his deal have not yet been reported.
    • The Braves appear to have agreed to terms with just-claimed righty Chase Whitley, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Whitley, who was projected to earn $1.0MM in his first season of arb eligibility, is said to be in line for an opportunity to work as a starter. It’s a split deal that would pay Whitley $800K in the majors, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
    • The Mariners agreed with Andrew Romine on a $1.05MM contract, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). Romine, a versatile infielder, was claimed off waivers after the end of the 2017 season.
    • Outfielder Abraham Almonte has reached a deal to avoid arbitration with the Indians, per a club announcement. He had featured as a possible non-tender candidate but instead found common ground with the organization. Almonte, 28, slashed just .233/.314/.366 in his 195 trips to the plate in 2017. He had projected to earn a $1.1MM payday in his first season of arbitration eligibility but will take home $825K, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter).
    • The Royals have agreed to terms with righty Mike Morin to avoid arbitration, the club announced. He’ll receive a split contract, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets, with a $750K annual earning rate in the majors and $250K in the minors. Morin, who projected at $700K, drew a mention on MLBTR’s non-tender candidates list. Indeed, his contract reflects the middling season that he turned in. Morin allowed 16 earned runs in twenty MLB frames, though he was more effective at Triple-A.
    • Yimi Garcia and the Dodgers have avoided arbitration, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter). Garia projected to command only a $700K salary after missing all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery; he’ll end up taking home $630K, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). Now 27, Garcia had established himself as a significant member of the Dodgers’ bullpen in 2015, when he compiled a 3.34 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 over 56 2/3 innings. But injuries limited him in the ensuing season and ultimately culminated in a UCL replacement.
    • Per a club announcement, the Indians have agreed to a contract with righty Dan Otero. Otero will take home $1.3MM, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). He was projected to command $1.4MM. The 32-year-old Otero has been an unmitigated bargain for Cleveland over the past two years, turning in 130 2/3 total innings of 2.14 ERA pitching despite averaging just 6.5 K/9 in that span. Otero has succeeded with unfailing command (just 19 walks since joining the Indians) and a hefty groundball rate (over 60% in each of the past two seasons).
    • The Angels and righty Blake Wood agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal that falls well shy of his $2.2MM projection, as FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman was the first to report (via Twitter). Wood struggled mightily in Cincinnati before being picked up by the Halos late in the year and turning his season around a bit. In 17 innings with the Angels, he posted a 4.76 ERA with a much more promising 22-to-4 K/BB ratio. Heyman notes that he can earn up to $50K worth of incentives as well.
    • The White Sox announced that they’ve signed right-hander Danny Farquhar to a one-year deal worth $1.05MM — a pact that falls shy of his $1.5MM projection. In 49 1/3 innings between the Rays and ChiSox, the 30-year-old logged a 4.20 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a 41.7 percent ground-ball rate.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Add Jesen Therrien, Travis Taijeron On Minor League Deals]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108195 2017-11-30T04:42:39Z 2017-11-29T23:23:15Z
  • The Dodgers have signed right-hander Jesen Therrien and outfielder Travis Taijeron to minor league contracts. Therrien, who underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2017 season, inked a two-year minor league pact due to the fact that he’ll spend the 2018 season rehabbing from surgery. Therrien, 24, obliterated minor league opponents in the Phillies’ system this season, as evidenced by a 1.41 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 57 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. In the Majors, he logged an 8.35 ERA on 24 hits and seven walks with just 10 strikeouts, though Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that his velocity dropped sharply in the Majors, quite possibly due to the effects of his ailing elbow. The 28-year-old Taijeron, a former Mets farmhand, mashed in the hitters’ haven of Las Vegas (.272/.383/.525, 25 homers, 32 doubles) but hit just .173/.271/.269 in 59 big league plate appearances in 2017. He’s a career .274/.382/.523 hitter in more than 1500 Triple-A PAs.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers, Pat Venditte Agree To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108107 2017-11-29T03:39:36Z 2017-11-29T03:30:50Z
  • The Dodgers have a minors pact with switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, as SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Venditte, 32, is a unique and perhaps under-appreciated artist who is able to create his own preferred platoon match-ups by pitching with both arms. He owns only a 4.97 ERA in his 50 2/3 MLB frames. But Venditte ran up 69 2/3 inning of 3.36 ERA ball with 8.9 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 at the Triple-A level last year with the Phillies organization.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Shohei Ohtani Rumors: Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108106 2017-11-28T22:13:31Z 2017-11-28T22:13:43Z Though Shohei Ohtani has not even yet been officially posted — that’s expected as soon as Friday — the supreme young talent is drawing plenty of attention from MLB organizations. Those clubs received a memorandum over the weekend asking them to provide information to Ohtani and his representatives on a variety of subjects, which is only the beginning of a highly unusual and utterly fascinating recruitment process.

    Here’s the latest:

    • Though Ohtani is limited to a signing bonus and a minor league contract in coming to the Major Leagues, he stands to earn substantially more through marketing endorsements, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Marketing agents have predicted to Nightengale that between endorsements back in Japan and in the United States, Ohtani could command north of $20MM annually. That’d make him MLB’s highest-paid player in terms of off-the-field revenue.
    • Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic spoke to agent Scott Boras (who was in the running to represent Ohtani before Ohtani signed CAA and Nez Balelo) as well as MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem about Ohtani’s earning capacity. Unsurprisingly, Boras offered sharp criticism of a system that won’t allow Ohtani to top a $3.535MM signing bonus at this point. “He is precocious, greatness cast adrift, forced into the MLB lifeboat,” said the always colorful Boras. “And his admission is handcuffs that prevent him from getting at least what his older, lesser valued peers received—in Tanaka’s case, more than $150 million.” Halem, as one would expect, wholly disagreed with Boras’ notions, pointing out that it was Ohtani who passed on the chance to sign with MLB clubs as an amateur out of high school, which could have jump-started his earning potential. And, it was Ohtani who asked to be posted as an amateur just two years before he could have been posted as a professional. The free column has quite a few quotes from both Boras and Halem on the matter and is well worth a full look.

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Offseason Outlook: Los Angeles Dodgers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=106677 2017-11-28T23:51:55Z 2017-11-28T14:18:06Z MLBTR is publishing Offseason Outlooks for all 30 teams.  Click here for the other entries in this series.

    Following a World Series loss to the Houston Astros, the Dodgers will enter the 2018 season with the majority of their core intact. The NL West division competition won’t figure to get any easier, however, and the organization’s payroll obligations already exceed the luxury tax threshold, which will make it more complicated to patch holes through free agency. The good news is that they enter the winter with wealth in another area … their deep farm system.

    Guaranteed Contracts

    Arbitration-Eligible Players (projections via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)

    Other Financial Obligations

    Free Agents

    [Los Angeles Dodgers Depth Chart | Los Angeles Dodgers Payroll Outlook]

    At the kickoff of last year’s offseason, reports surfaced that the Dodgers were under pressure from MLB to cut payroll, though CEO Stan Kasten insisted that it wasn’t a mandate. While there hasn’t been word of any similar pressure this winter, Los Angeles already has over $207MM in guaranteed commitments for 2018 before so much as even inquiring on any free agents. Forty million of those dollars are owed to a combination of Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and a group of players who are no longer on the roster. While it’s probably not safe to expect the Dodgers to be stingy, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see them shy away from long-term, high-risk contracts, especially with some notable extension candidates making up the core of the MLB roster and another wave of talent budding in the upper minors.

    That minor-league system includes six players in MLB Pipeline’s top 100, four of whom are either at the Double-A or Triple-A level. Their top two prospects, Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo, could help at the major league level early in 2018. With that kind of farm system, it’s possible we could see the Dodgers swing a major trade. I already noted that they’d be an ideal fit in a hypothetical Marcell Ozuna trade with the Miami Marlins, and indeed it seems like they’re in play for Giancarlo Stanton to an extent as well (though certainly his contract is larger than anything it would take to sign any of this year’s free agents). On paper, it seems like Verdugo in particular would make the most sense as a trade chip, depending upon how the club views a deep set of outfielders, though it remains to be seen whether the Dodgers have any real interest in dealing him.

    Speaking of Stanton, the Dodgers appear to be one of the best fits for his services. Not only are they one of the few teams with both the prospects and financial muscle to lure the NL MVP from Miami, but they may have an added advantage considering Stanton is an L.A. native. In fact, recent reports indicate that he’d approve a trade to the Dodgers; if he truly wants to land there, and the team is at least willing to offer enough to force the Marlins’ hand, then this could be a match. But it’s not presently clear just how much interest the Dodgers have and whether Stanton would push hard to go to one specific team.

    The possibility of adding a big bat ties into a complicated picture on the position-player side. It seems probable that Gonzalez will take at least some of the time at first base to open the season, so as things stand currently, the Dodgers would enter 2018 with some combination of Chris Taylor, Cody BellingerYasiel Puig and Joc Pederson in the outfield, with Enrique Hernandez likely to fill a backup role and Andrew Toles as a sort of dark horse for playing time. Of course, Gonzalez faded badly in an injury-riddled 2017 season, ending with a shockingly poor .242/.287/.355 slash line in just 252 plate appearances last year. If he can’t rebound to some semblance of his former self, the Dodgers might ultimately opt to cut him loose (and eat his enormous salary) in order to move Bellinger back to first. This concern could lead to L.A. signing a platoon partner for Gonzalez at first, or adding a cheap right-handed outfield option to their roster. From my point of view, however, it doesn’t make much sense for the Dodgers to mess around with the middle- and lower-tier options at those positions. Their roster is already crowded with many players of that type, so it might not be worth sacrificing a roster spot to add another part-time bat to the mix.

    Logan Forsythe is currently listed at the top of the second base depth chart for the Dodgers, and it would be perfectly reasonable to open the season with him at the keystone. Justin Turner and Corey Seager are obvious locks for their positions, so it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers making any real changes to their infield. They could, however, explore some veteran backup options. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see them re-sign Chase Utley. The Dodgers could probably use a lefty-hitting infielder, and the 39-year-old veteran fits the bill. Other options to hit from the left side include switch-hitters Erick Aybar and Jose Reyes, but the trade market could well hold more promising possibilities.

    The back end of Dodgers’ rotation for the past couple of seasons has been a patchwork quilt of oft-injured hurlers who provide solid value when healthy. But the front end is absolutely dynamite; legend Clayton Kershaw will once again be the team’s opening day starter, while Rich Hill and Alex Wood are locks for the number two and three spots. Beyond that, things get a little murkier. Kenta Maeda was a lights-out relief pitcher in the playoffs, and although he’ll probably open the season in the Dodgers’ rotation, they could also opt to use him once again as a relief ace. Buehler will contribute in some capacity this season, but I’d put my money on the Dodgers sending him to Triple-A to open 2018. Julio Urias will probably return from injury at some point as well, though that will be much later in the year and he’ll be nursed back to health with quite a lot of caution. Beyond that, whether they sign a free agent pitcher or employ a wait-and-see approach with their brittle rotation depth seems like a coin flip.

    If they do sign a free agent pitcher, a reunion with Yu Darvish seems plausible. Despite an implosion during the playoffs, Darvish was solid for the Dodgers overall and comes with an extensive track record of success. Beyond him, they could be in on Jake Arrieta, or attempt to trade for Chris Archer of the Rays or Michael Fulmer of the Tigers. With the kind of rotation depth the Dodgers have, it makes more sense for them to look at large upgrades rather than risky players like Andrew Cashner or Tyler Chatwood.

    The Dodgers bullpen is largely in good shape. Tony Watson and Brandon Morrow are set to depart as free agents, but the dominant Kenley Jansen remains under contract as the team’s closer. Luis Avilan, Tony Cingrani, Pedro Baez, Ross Stripling and Josh Fields will all be back as well. Their rotation depth could bleed over into their bullpen, meaning one of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu or Maeda could pitch in relief to start the season. With all this in mind, it seems as though the bullpen doesn’t need much help. It wouldn’t make much sense, then, to spend big money on Greg Holland or Wade Davis, but they’ll probably explore options from the next tier. A reunion with Morrow would make plenty of sense, and beyond him there are names like Bryan Shaw, Juan Nicasio and Mike Minor that could hold appeal.

    What stands out most about the Dodgers organization is its depth of resources and the multitude of ways in which it could combine them. The team could acquire a big name trade target by moving assets at the minor league level or in the majors (Pederson or Yasmani Grandal come to mind), or it could throw a wad of cash at a free agent. The Dodgers will probably make a push for Shohei Ohtani, and landing the two-way star would mean yet more possibilities for corresponding roster tweaks. At the end of the day, it seems likely that they’ll make at least one significant acquisition, and probably more than that. Under Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi, the Dodgers have sought to build without simply relying on bringing in expensive veterans from outside the organization on long-term commitments. But after coming up just shy in the 2017 World Series following five-straight NL West titles, the desire to finally win it all could provide significant motivation to cash in financial and prospect capital and put a super team on the field.

    What route Dodgers end up taking this winter is anybody’s guess. But we can safely presume that they won’t have a quiet offseason. They have loads of options and they’ll be exploring all of them. I expect the name “Dodgers” to pop up often in trade and free agent rumors, and I expect them to be at the epicenter when the dominoes start to fall.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumors: Monday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=108027 2017-11-28T00:04:29Z 2017-11-27T20:49:58Z The Giancarlo Stanton trade saga has been one of the top storylines of the offseason, and there’s no end in sight at the time being. To date, the Cardinals and Giants have reportedly submitted formal offers, while the Dodgers and Red Sox have also been linked to the slugger.

    We’ll track today’s developments on the Stanton front right here:

    • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that other clubs have gotten the sense that there’ll be resolution on the Stanton talks one way or another by the time the Winter Meetings kick off on Dec. 10 (all Twitter links). That is to say, the Marlins will either have traded him by that point or interested parties will have exhausted their patience and begun to explore other possibilities on the trade and free-agent markets. Crasnick also notes that while the Cardinals and Giants are the most-cited suitors, there are other clubs that are in active pursuit of Stanton.

    Earlier Updates

    • Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that Stanton has given the Marlins a list of teams to which he’d accept a trade, and the Dodgers are among those teams (all links to Twitter). Per Morosi, the Dodgers and Marlins have discussed some Stanton trade scenarios, but the Giants and Cardinals have shown more focused interest in Stanton. Some teams interested in Stanton feel the Dodgers are his top choice, which could slow negotiations as Stanton could veto any deal until knowing for certain that the Dodgers don’t plan on making a move for him. At this point, however, Stanton has not rejected any trades, according to Morosi.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Adrian Gonzalez Has Full No-Trade Clause]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107884 2017-11-25T21:55:49Z 2017-11-25T21:55:49Z
  • Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has a full no-trade clause – not a partial NTC – agent Jim Boggs tells Cafardo. Regardless, coming off a back injury-shortened season in which he accounted for minus-1.1 fWAR in 252 plate appearances, finding a taker for Gonzalez, 35, figures to be a tall task for the Dodgers. LA may simply eat the $21.5MM Gonzalez is owed next season in order to jettison him, Cafardo suggests.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[What We Know About The Giancarlo Stanton Situation]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107850 2017-11-25T03:37:39Z 2017-11-25T03:36:29Z As of Black Friday, the 2017 offseason has been astonishingly quiet. The trade and free agent market seems as though it’s being held up in large part by the situation surrounding NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Once that massive domino falls, it’s possible we’ll see a flurry of free agent activity follow. In the meantime, however, Stanton rumors are a heavy focus of the baseball media cycle, and as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd pointed out in an in-depth piece earlier this month, his market is wide and complex. As we approach the weekend, here’s an overview of what we know about the Marlins’ attempt to deal their All-Star outfielder.

    He’s the best player available on the market- This may be redundant considering I already mentioned his brand new MVP award, but the subject is well worth its own spotlight. His .281/.376/.631 batting line is other worldly, and his 59 homers paced all of baseball in 2017. While his 6.9 fWAR only tied for fifth among all players in the majors, the rest of the top seven (Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout) won’t be available for teams to acquire in a trade. The top three free agents (Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer) aren’t anywhere near as valuable in terms of expected WAR output as Stanton.

    Teams perceive his remaining contract as close to market value- According to these three tweets from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, multiple teams told the Marlins that the remaining 10 years and $295MM left on Stanton’s contract are a pretty good estimate of what he’d earn on the open market, were he a free agent this offseason.

    He has a lot of power over his own fate- Not only does Stanton have a full no-trade clause in his contract, but he also has the ability to opt out after the 2020 season, at which point he’d leave 7 years and $218MM on the table in search of a new deal. The opt-out makes trading him even more complicated, as it caps the contract value upside for his would-be new team. Meanwhile, the full no-trade protection gives him enormous leverage in the process. Many teams would love to add Stanton to their lineup, and the Marlins are looking to shed payroll. Ultimately, this means the Fish may not end up being able to accept the best offer, and could have to simply settle for the proposal from the city Stanton wishes to play for most.

    The Marlins’ leverage over him is nonzero- While Stanton is a coveted asset and enjoys no-trade protection, he’s made it well-known that he isn’t interested in being around for a rebuild. The slugger’s desire to leave Miami could result in him approving a trade he’s not thrilled about just to play for a contender. On the other hand, it could also result in a tense game of chicken between Stanton and the Marlins to see who will bend first. Although the Marlins have a firm mission to shed payroll, they can do so in other ways; they don’t actually have to trade Stanton at all. And as much as Stanton wants to be traded, he might be willing to hold out for a team of his choice and risk staying put. The case is fascinating.

    Some evaluators believe the Marlins’ asking price is unrealistic- While Miami’s asking price isn’t entirely clear, it seems as though they’re looking for a team to pay all (or nearly all) of his salary while including prospects. This has led some to suggest that the Fish need a “reality check” in terms of their asking price. If the contract is indeed roughly market value, then it’s difficult to imagine that a team will give up good prospects for the privilege to pay Stanton his full dollar value over the course of the deal.

    He prefers to play near a coast- While this doesn’t seem to be a firm deal breaker, it complicates matters for teams like the Cardinals and Phillies, who have the payroll space and prospect depth to swing a trade for the prolific slugger.

    The Cardinals and Giants have made formal offers- The Giants were the first to officially submit a trade proposal, with the Cardinals following suit later that same week. This doesn’t mean the trade discussions are finished; those trades could still be tweaked or even scrapped entirely in favor of starting from scratch. But the fact that there are at least two offers on the table gives the Marlins some options to weigh for the time being. It’s not known what those offers are, however, though we do know that the Cardinals included Sandy Alcantara in their proposal. It’s equally uncertain whether Miami even takes those offers seriously.

    As many as eight teams are engaged in talks for him- While only six of those eight teams are thought to be serious pursuers, the fact that so many teams are showing strong interest bodes well for Miami and their power in negotiations. In addition to the Cardinals and Giants mentioned above, we know that the Dodgers, Phillies and Red Sox have had some level of dialogue with the Marlins. The Yankees, too, have reportedly done their due diligence, though it doesn’t sound as if they’re actively pursuing Stanton.

     

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Release Jose Miguel Fernandez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107793 2017-11-23T23:39:48Z 2017-11-23T23:39:48Z The Dodgers have released infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez, as per the official transactions page for the Double-A Texas League (tip of the cap to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy).

    It was just last January that Fernandez signed a minor league deal with a $200K signing bonus, ending a rather prolonged stretch in free agency following the second baseman’s escape from Cuba in December 2015.  While Fernandez posted some very good batting numbers in Cuba’s Serie Nacional (.319/.403/.423 in 2580 career plate appearances), he also hadn’t played since 2014, which unsurprisingly led to some rust during showcase appearances for scouts.

    Still, there was some thought that L.A. had scored a bargain when they inked Fernandez, as he was seen by some as a player who was ready for a relatively quick promotion to the big leagues.  Indeed, his performance in 2017 seemingly did little to shake that assessment, as Fernandez hit .306/.366/.498 over 369 PA for Double-A Tulsa.  Fernandez continued to display good contact skills with just 33 strikeouts (against 24 walks), and he hit 16 homers at the Double-A level — a nice power increase considering he only hit 37 homers total in all his time in the Serie Nacional.

    Fernandez didn’t play after July 29 due to a DL stint, and unless that injury was something particularly serious, his release seems rather surprising.  Even if the Dodgers faced a roster crunch or simply didn’t see Fernandez as a long-term piece, one would think a trade would’ve come before an outright release (though the Dodgers might’ve quietly shopped him and found no takers).  Still, given the relatively low price Fernandez cost Los Angeles in the first place, the Dodgers might’ve felt they weren’t losing out on much by releasing him.

    The 29-year-old Fernandez now figures to get some attention on the free agent market, particularly from teams in need of middle infield help.  Fernandez has spent much of his career at second base, though he also has a handful of games at first base, third base and in left field.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves Acquire Josh Ravin]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107606 2017-11-21T03:46:51Z 2017-11-21T03:25:51Z 9:24pm: Ravin has now been dealt to the Braves in exchange for cash considerations, Shaikin tweets. He joins fellow reliever Grant Dayton in following executive Alex Anthopoulos from Los Angeles to Atlanta.

    7:31pm: The Dodgers have designated righty Josh Ravin for assignment, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was among those to tweet. As he departs the 40-man, righties Trevor Oaks and Dennis Santana will join it.

    Ravin, 29, showed some big swing-and-miss potential after landing with the Dodgers but never fully caught on in the majors. A PED suspension and some injuries certainly had an impact. Ravin ultimately threw 16 2/3 frames in the bigs in 2017, allowing 12 earned runs with a 19:9 K/BB ratio. In 35 1/3 Triple-A innings, he pitched to a 4.33 ERA with 14.0 K/9 against 4.8 BB/9.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves Claim Grant Dayton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107604 2017-11-21T02:06:45Z 2017-11-21T01:29:45Z The Braves have claimed lefty Grant Dayton from the Dodgers, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was among those to tweet. He underwent Tommy John surgery this August.

    Atlanta is also adding two lefties to its 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Adam McCreery and Ricardo Sanchez both had their contracts selected, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets.

    The addition of Dayton becomes the first acquisition for newly hired Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos, who is certainly quite familiar with the southpaw from his time in the Dodgers front office. Atlanta, evidently, can afford the greater patience — as well as the inconvenience of tying up a 40-man spot for part of the offseason — that comes with Dayton as he rehabs.

    Certainly, Dayton carries an intriguing background to his new organization. He seemingly came from nowhere to dominate down the stretch and become one of the Dodgers’ top relievers in 2016. But Dayton showed signs of trouble throughout the 2017 season and ultimately struggled to a 4.94 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 23 2/3 innings before going down with a UCL injury.

    Given the timing of the surgery, it’s fairly likely that Dayton won’t pitch in the majors in 2018. The Braves can, of course, add him to the 60-day DL to open the year, but will have to clog a 40-man spot in the meantime to maintain control rights.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers, Manny Banuelos Near Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107346 2017-11-18T03:37:51Z 2017-11-18T03:10:16Z
  • The Blue Jays announced last night that they’ve brought back former first-round pick Deck McGuire on a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. Toronto selected McGuire, now 28 years of age, with the 10th overall pick back in 2010. The former Georgia Tech star tore through Class-A Advanced with the Jays but began to struggle upon reaching Double-A and was ultimately traded to the A’s for cash considerations in 2014. McGuire has since pitched in the upper levels of the Dodgers and Cardinals systems, and in 2017 he made his big league debut with the Reds after turning in a terrific season in Double-A. McGuire tossed 168 innings with a 2.79 ERA, 9.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for Cincinnati’s Pensacola affiliate, and he impressed in a brief sample of MLB innings as well. Through 13 2/3 frames with the Reds, McGuire allowed four earned runs (2.63 ERA) on 10 hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts.
  • Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times tweets that the Dodgers are closing in on a minor league deal with left-hander Manny Banuelos. The 26-year-old Banuelos was once one of the most prized prospects in the Yankees’ farm system before elbow problems slowed his career. Banuelos had Tommy John surgery back in 2013 and has since undergone a second elbow operation to remove bone chips. His lone season with MLB experience came in 2015 when he tossed 26 1/3 innings with the Braves. Banuelos spent the 2017 season with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate and struggled to a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 in 95 innings. It’s perhaps worth noting that he spent the bulk of 2017 as a reliever (nine starts, 30 relief outings) — his first career season working primarily out of the bullpen.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Wednesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107207 2017-11-15T23:18:09Z 2017-11-15T23:17:56Z The Giancarlo Stanton rumor mill was churning yesterday as teams jockey for position with the Marlins — and, perhaps, with Stanton himself, who can veto any trade. At the end of the day, though, it seemed there was no greater clarity as to where he might be dealt and when a trade might go down.

    We’ll use this post to track any new developments today …

    • MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports that teams that have spoken to the Marlins have informed them that they feel the 10 years and $295MM on Stanton’s deal is a rough approximation of his market value (all Twitter links). In other words, other clubs don’t perceive there to be much, if any, surplus value on Stanton’s deal. As such, the Marlins will have to pay down a notable portion of the deal to also extract premium prospects from a potential trade partner. One exec suggested that Miami would need to pay as much as $5MM annually in order to receive good prospect value. Morosi notes that the Cardinals and Marlins once again discussed trade concepts today.
    • The Marlins initiated a brief conversation with the Yankees regarding Stanton, writes FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The Yankees aren’t considered a serious suitor, though, and the Yankees simply said they’d be open to hearing what the Marlins had in mind, perhaps as a matter of sheer due diligence. Both Yankees GM Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner have publicly stated a desire to dip under the $197MM luxury tax barrier, and Stanton’s $25MM annual salary would obviously get in the way of that goal.

    Earlier Updates

    • Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says he has not yet spoken with Stanton, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald was among those to report on Twitter“If there’s a reason to call him, I’ll call him,” said Jeter. The new Marlins boss did not commit to dealing Stanton and noted that such a move would be complicated, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. But Jeter also suggested that the team cannot continue operating in the same manner financially as it did under prior ownership.
    • Of course, president of baseball operations Michael Hill sat down with Stanton and says he has a sense of what the slugger is interested in. He’s also running point on Stanton talks with other teams. Hill tells Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he is putting the onus on suitors to come forward with some information on what they are willing to do to land Stanton. “Until I know where you’re at on the contract, the money, all that stuff, I can’t engage,” Hill said of his rival executives.
    • Rosenthal said that eight teams had engaged on Stanton to this point. Six of those are fairly serious pursuers, according to a report from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
    • There’s “little momentum” regarding Stanton between the Dodgers and Marlins, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Of course, the most notable point at this stage seems to be that the Dodgers are involved at all. Los Angeles seems like a solid fit for Stanton, though it’s also not difficult to imagine the organization preferring not to tie up such a significant portion of its payroll in one contract.
    • John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle ran down the latest on Stanton from the Giants’ perspective. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did the same with regard to the Cardinals. And WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford explained why he still thinks the Red Sox could be in Stanton (or another superstar hitter) despite some indications to the contrary.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Tried To Acquire Tommy Pham This Summer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107186 2017-11-15T05:33:12Z 2017-11-15T05:33:12Z
  • The Cardinals are looking to trade multiple outfielders given their logjam of upper-level talent, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The PhilliesOrioles and Giants have had interest in some of the Cards’ outfielders in the past, Goold notes, adding that Randal Grichuk is the outfielder that “comes up the most often.” Goold also reports that the Dodgers tried to pry Tommy Pham away from the Cardinals prior to the non-waiver trade deadline but were unsuccessful in doing so. In addition to Grichuk and Pham, the Cards have Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler and Jose Martinez at the big league level. Beyond that, younger options include Harrison Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Randy Arozarena (who Goold profiles at the beginning of his column) and Tyler O’Neill.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Rumors: Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107124 2017-11-14T22:43:36Z 2017-11-14T22:43:35Z Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton has already generated plenty of buzz at the GM Meetings. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, given that his massive contract represents a key factor in the Miami organization’s offseason — and those of the teams that will consider acquiring it. Given the unique circumstances at play, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to be dealt at a relatively early stage.

    Here’s the latest:

    • The Dodgers are indeed in the mix for Stanton, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. To what extent Los Angeles is interested remains unclear, but the Dodgers certainly have the payroll capacity to take on the contract as well as the young talent in order to entice the Marlins to part with Stanton.
    • Stanton actually has not ruled out the Red Sox — or, it seems, any other organizations — according to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. While the slugger may have initial preferences, Drellich writes that he’s maintaining a “’completely’ open mind.” It’s ultimately not too surprising to hear some competing information flying about Stanton’s approach, for the reasons Goold explores in the below-linked piece. But if the slugger is indeed willing to entertain any possibilities, then that will presumably make for a more wide-open process — and keep things interesting right up to the point that Stanton weighs an actual opportunity t change teams, should it arise.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Giants have at times given signals of going big for Stanton (or another expensive player) or instead trying to stay under the luxury tax line. But it seems the organization is engaged with the Marlins in earnest. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, via Twitter, the clubs are discussing Giants prospect Heliot Ramos as a possible element of a hypothetical return for Stanton. San Francisco is joined by at least three others in chasing the slugger at this point, he adds. (Those looking for subtle signals will also note that Giants GM Bobby Evans and Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill were spotted on a joint foyer foray this morning, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.)
    • Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, meanwhile, hears at least seven clubs have shown some level of interest in Stanton, noting that the Marlins front office is “encouraged” by the early dialogue. Front office sources from other organizations framed things a bit differently; ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets that there’s a perception that the Marlins are seeking a “shockingly high” package for the rights to pay Stanton at a premium rate, particularly since his deal includes an opt-out clause.
    • Importantly, per Heyman, Miami is said to be open to hanging on to some of Stanton’s contract. Additionally, the team is focused on achieving value rather than on getting young pitching, specifically.
    • Of course, Stanton’s own preferences hold the final say in any deal. While it’s far from certain, there are rumblings that Stanton is not inclined to approve a swap that would send him to the Cardinals or Red Sox, as Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports. If nothing else, anything less than a full blessing from Stanton with regard to a given organization would likely complicate any effort to finalize a deal.
    • The no-trade clause obviously ties into the subject of leverage, which is a key issue for the Fish, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains. Since Miami would do well to keep its cards close to the vest with regard to Stanton’s preferences, the information flow is critical to the Marlins’ effort to maximize their return while finding a landing spot Stanton that will authorize.
    • While the Red Sox “may have checked in” on Stanton, they seem to be focused elsewhere. And the Dodgers haven’t engaged yet at all, Heyman adds. Both of those teams were highlighted by MLBTR as among the best fits on paper for the star slugger.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[How The Dodgers Could Pitch Shohei Ohtani]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107067 2017-11-14T13:38:00Z 2017-11-14T13:32:22Z
  • Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times discusses the Dodgers’ potential pitch for Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. While Ohtani’s two-way aspirations may seemingly make him a better fit for a smaller-market team in the American League — an organization, that is, that’s more willing and better situated to allow him to attempt the difficult task of both pitching and hitting at the game’s highest level — Hernandez posits that the Dodgers can offer as much and more. The Los Angeles front office will no doubt cook up some interesting possibilities for maximizing Ohtani’s abilities, suggests Hernandez, with the club’s immense rotation depth helping to make it possible.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger Win Rookie Of The Year Awards]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=107083 2017-11-14T01:54:46Z 2017-11-14T01:54:46Z In news that won’t come as a surprise to many, Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers were named the rookies of the year in the American League and National League, respectively. Each received unanimous support from the voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

    Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and Trey Mancini of the Orioles followed Judge in the A.L. ROY voting. The other finalists for the N.L. award were the Pirates’ Josh Bell and Cardinals’ Paul DeJong.

    Judge was as obvious a victor as you’ll ever see. The 25-year-old slugger swatted 52 home runs and posted a .284/.422/.627 batting line in 678 trips to the plate. That output was good enough to make him a finalist for the MVP award — the results haven’t yet been tabulated — and a shoe-in to be chosen as the top rookie.

    Over on the National League side, Bellinger was an easy choice for the hardwear after 548 plate appearances of .267/.352/.581 hitting to go with 39 dingers and ten steals. A 2013 fourth-round draftee, Bellinger only turned 22 in mid-July and opened the season at Triple-A, adding to the impressiveness of his accomplishment.

    Because he did not start the season in the big leagues, Bellinger will fall shy of a full season of MLB service. That means he won’t reach arbitration until 2020 (as a Super Two) and will be controlled via the arb process through 2023. Judge had already spent some time in the majors in 2016, so he’s set to reach the open market a year earlier, though he also won’t see an arbitration pay bump until 2020.

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